Ben 10 – Galactic Racing

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Ben Tennyson is a staple of the Cartoon Network schedules and it’s easy to see why. He’s a cocky teenager who has the ability to morph into a myriad of aliens, all thanks to the Omnitrix, a wrist-worn alien artifact. In Galactic Racing, the series’s latest spin-off game, Ben has joined an interplanetary Galactic Grand Prix. Made up of 25 tracks and with 15 different characters to play, the game is a direct copy of Nintendo’s popular Mario Kart racing series. The homing-missile red shells and slippery banana skins from Mario may have ben replaced with character-specific powers, but the end result is effectively the same.

The graphics are passable, with tracks based around five different environments. These include the frozen landscapes of Kylmyys with its icicle-strewn caves and slippery short cuts to the gunky sewer racing of the Toxic Tunnels. The tracks are fun, if a little samey. The big problem with Galactic Racing is the gameplay. The carts feel just like their counterparts in Mario Kart, but the controls are utterly unforgiving. When playing even the very first levels, getting into first position is a struggle, and staying there is even harder. Making even the smallest mistake will cost you several places and even using each character’s specific special attacks won’t help you much. As Ben 10 is most popular with those under eight, the difficulty level misses its target demographic by a mile. There is nothing wrong with ripping off Mario, but you need to do it well. For those without a DS or a Wii, Sonic and Sega All-Star Racing is a much better title for younger gamers who want a bit of madcap racing action. Conversely, Galactic Racing will only frustrate young fans of the alien-bashing cartoon series. A shame.

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Bandai-Namco
Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, DS
(3+) £19.99 – £29.99

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